CUBA

Emanuel refutes allegations of trying to sell passports

February 26, 2018

Aspiring United Progressive Party (UPP) politician, Dr. McChesney “Mac” Emanuel, has refuted claims made in an affidavit by a former economic envoy to Antigua and Barbuda, Peter Chau, that Dr.Emanuel sold him a passport for U.S. $100,000.

Dr. Emanuel, issued a press statement on the matter yesterday, stating that his attorney “will be taking appropriate action related to these false allegations." He responding to the government’s plan to set up a special investigative committee to look into the allegation made by Chau.

Emanuel went on to say, “The banana republic Antigua Labour Party Government, Gaston Browne and Charles “Max” Fernandez have come up with yet another false allegation against me since the first round did not work. Current false allegation: Mac Emanuel sold a diplomatic passport. Let me once again defend my good name by saying the allegation is false. I neither discussed, attempted to nor sold a diplomatic passport to anyone.” 

Opposition challenges decision to have Barbudans vote in Antigua

February 26, 2018

The leader of the Barbuda People's Movement, Trevor Walker, is asking the High Court to prevent the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) from having the people of Barbuda cast their ballots in the March 21 General Election on the island of Antigua.

Barbuda was severely affected when Hurricane Irma passed through the Lesser Antilles last September, forcing the Gaston Browne Government to order a total evacuation of the island. But since then such a measure has been relaxed and many of the 1,600 Barbudans have returned to their homes.

In January, the commission wrote to Prime Minister Gaston Browne indicating that it had decided that the poll for the constituency of Barbuda would be done in a constituency in Antigua based on the “prevailing circumstances resulting from the hurricane which ravaged the island of Barbuda”.

But Walker, who filed the application, said, “We are asking the court for an interim injunction to prevent the Electoral Commission [from] allowing Barbudans to vote in Antigua.

“We feel that there is no special circumstances that prevent Barbudans from voting in Barbuda, and so we are asking the Court for an injunction to stop them until the substantive matter can be heard,” he added.

Ayre announces new five star resort

February 19, 2018

A new and unique five star resort has been announced by entrepreneur and Special Economic Envoy for Antigua and Barbuda, Calvin Ayre. The development is located on the Valley Church beach and design work is already underway and scheduled to commence on site in late summer of 2018. The construction cost of the resort is expected to be in excess of USD $100m and will be entirely funded by profits made through the appreciation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Master Blaster bestowed with life-long government benefits

February 14, 2018

Sir Vivian Richards, one of the greatest batsmen ever, is to be honoured with tax exemptions, a monthly pension and other benefits by the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

Richards, who will 66 on March 7, played 121 Tests for the West Indies between November 1974 and August 1991 and scored 8540 runs at an average of 50.23. He scored 24 centuries and 45 half centuries in his brilliant Test career.

He was knighted on February 28, 2014, and now the grateful government is planning to do more.

“The promise to treat living National Heroes with a high degree of respect is fulfilled. Sir Vivian Richards will also remain an Ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda” Chief of Staff Lionel Max Hurst was quoted as saying.

According to antiguanewsroom.com, Sir Vivian will now be paid a monthly pension that’s equal to the amount now paid to Ministers of State within the Antigua and Barbuda Government. He will also be exempt from duties and other charges on the importation of personal items.

The Master Blaster will also not be required to property taxes on the house he owns and will be allowed a duty-free car every seven years. If needed, he will be provided a driver and a home helper to be paid by the Treasury.

University Act to go before Parliament

August 25, 2016

The government has made its strongest statement yet about turning the Five Islands Facility into the University Campus of Antigua & Barbuda.

Education Minister Michael Browne said the attorney general will draft the University Act of 2016, which will have its first reading next Tuesday when the Lower House convenes for a sitting. “This is very exciting for our nation. This is the first time that the UWI will open another campus,” Browne said.

 

According to Browne, the campus will include the Five Islands, State College and the Golden Grove Facilities. “It also gives us room to expand,” he said.

 

Cabinet notes on Tuesday said a telephone conference was held with the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UWI, in Barbados, who commended the Cabinet and reminded that Antigua & Barbuda’s bold move to establish a campus of UWI at Five Islands was the first such move in more than 50 years.

 

The latest pronouncement came as groups, teachers and citizens have been protesting against the move.

On Sunday, hundreds turned out for protest organised by ‘Then Movement,’ protesting against the Five Islands Facility being used as a university. They want it to be opened as a secondary school.

Government says 'no' to decriminalising buggery

August 25, 2016

The government has said an outright 'no' to the repealing of the laws decriminalising buggery, a decision which has disappointed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community.

The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda, this week agreed that “the buggery law will remain unchanged”.

However, government acknowledged that the results which were obtained in the recent historic Belize case are likely to follow, should an interest group pursue this matter in the courts, since “our jurisprudence is similar”.

The Supreme Court in Belize ruled a few weeks ago that a law which criminalises homosexuality was unconstitutional.

Venezuela ambassador pledges continued support to Antigua & Barbuda

May 24, 2016

Despite the economic and social crisis enveloping his nation, Venezuela’s Ambassador to Antigua & Barbuda, Carlos Perez has said his government’s commitment to Antigua & Barbuda and the entire Caribbean remains unchanged.

“The commitments that we have established in the form of bilateral agreements with Antigua & Barbuda and other countries will continue without any alterations,” Ambassador Perez said in an exclusive interview with OBSERVER media.

The ambassador also asserted that the oil alliance agreement, Petro Caribe, from which Antigua and other countries have benefited considerably over the past 10 years, is not “dead” as is widely reported in certain quarters of the media.

According to the Venezuelan diplomat, Petro Caribe has two different states- the multilateral agreement signed in 2005 and a bilateral agreement signed by each country, depending on their specific needs.

Although PetroCaribe is linked with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) in 2013 and goes beyond oil and promotes economic cooperation, there were concerns over the last year that the death of Maduro’s predecessor President, Hugo Chavez, would bring the curtains down on the arrangement.

The concerns has grown over the past few months with the on-going political unrest in Venezuela.

Consumers urged to take lead on food safety

March 16, 2016

Manager of Information Services at the Bureau of Standards and coordinator of the Codex Alimentarius workshop has advised consumers to start making demands for food safety standards to be in place.

 

Solange Baptiste, said that while the Bureau will make certain recommendations, it is up to the consumers to make demands for the regulations for their own safety.

 

“What gives a standard its power is demand. So the more informed consumers are of what’s out there and what safety standards are and where you can find them, you might not have to wait for any regulator to actually say something about your product,” she said.

 

She made the remarks during a recent Codex Awareness Workshop, aimed at further developing awareness of the importance of adopting health and safety standards in food products. At the workshop, several stakeholders – including those in agriculture, health, trade and education – were introduced to the framework of international food codes and the development of food standards.

Former PM favours CCJ over UK-based Privy Council

March 16, 2016

Former prime minister, Sir Lester Bird, says replacing the London-based Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) “finishes Antiguan and Barbudan independence and autonomy that was begun in the 1930s”.

 

In a broadcast, Sir Lester, who served as the island’s second prime minister from 1994-2004, said that the ruling Antigua Labour Party (ALP) had long advocated the need for the country to move away from the Privy Council.

 

He said when the island sought to attain political independence from Britain in the 1960s, it wanted full independence that would have also included an independent judicial system. “We rejected the idea that judicial decisions which affect our lives should be made in a city thousands of miles away, and by persons appointed largely by the prime minister of a country that was our former colonial power,” Bird said.

 

“The Caribbean Court of Justice represents all that is admirable and respected from our Caribbean civilisation. It is the culmination of the work of every generation of Antiguans and Barbudans for one hundred years. As a people we owe it to our own self-worth and our own dignity to support the replacement of the Privy Council by the CCJ when a referendum is held,” he added.

 

Antigua and Barbuda recently launched a three-month public education programme on whether to continue with the Privy Council or replace it with the Trinidad-based regional court. At the end of the exercise, citizens will be asked to vote in a referendum on the matter.

Former AG calls CIP a 'danger to democracy'

March 16, 2016

As the debate continues on the need for campaign finance reform in Antigua & Barbuda fresh concerns are being raised that general elections could be swayed by people who acquire nationality through the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).

 

The matter was raised last week during a national discussion when the 2014 General Elections Campaign Financing Report was released.

 

Former Attorney General of Dominica, Bernard Wiltshire, who was a panellist at the forum, explained the granting of citizenship to these new citizens could be detrimental to the democratic process. “What they are in fact doing is creating a nation out there that could one day challenge us for our country,” Wiltshire claimed.

 

Opposition Member of Parliament Joanne Massiah also agreed that the matter should be addressed.

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